Shorter days and cooler temperatures are gentle reminders that old man winter is not too far away. It’s this time of year that you should begin preparing your Colorado Springs rental property for the inevitable arrival of snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. Being proactive in winterizing your property now will help prevent unexpected and costly repairs later on. As a property owner, it’s also your responsibility to ensure your tenants stay safe and comfortable all winter long.
How to Winterize Your Rental Property
Before the first snowfall and below-freezing temperatures hit the area, here is a list of things to do to properly winterize your rental property.
1. Inspect the furnace.
For this task, it is recommended you hire a professional HVAC technician to check for any issues in the heating system. The technician can perform routine maintenance tasks to ensure the system runs efficiently. A good inspection of the furnace will also detect any carbon monoxide leaks.
2. Weatherproof doors and windows.
Inspect the edges of doors and windows to ensure there are no leaks or gaps. Caulk and seal these problem areas to prevent heat loss.
3. Protect outdoor plumbing.
Burst outdoor pipes are a constant hazard during the wintertime that can cause thousands of dollars in repairs. Cover exterior plumbing with foam pipe insulation. Disconnect garden hoses from exterior faucets. Completely drain outdoor pipes, sprinkler, and fountain systems that will not be used.
4. Inspect the roof, gutters, and downspouts.
Winter storms can wreak havoc on roofs. Check for broken and loose shingles that can fly off during a storm. Check that gutters are clear of dirt and debris, so they don’t cause ice dams and ceiling leaks. You may want to consider hiring a qualified contractor to perform these checks and fix any issues on the spot.
5. Have chimneys cleaned and inspected.
Your tenants will no doubt use the fireplace on those cold winter nights. Have the fireplace cleaned and inspected by a professional chimney sweep to clear any blockages.
6. Trim surrounding trees and shrubbery.
Ice accumulations on dead branches can cause them to snap and come down, putting your tenants and their visitors in harm’s way. They can also damage vehicles and break windows. If necessary, hire an arborist to reach the higher tree branches.
7. Have arrangements in place for snow and ice removal.
Contract with a local snow removal company for the property if your tenants aren’t directly responsible for this. If you plan on handling snow and ice cleanup yourself, make sure you have the necessary supplies on hand, including salt, shovels, and a snow blower.
Plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and roofing inspections and repairs should be periodically scheduled to ensure your rental property is not only secure for winter, but throughout the year. Many companies offer maintenance contracts for these services that can help prevent unexpected, costly repairs down the road. A benefit of contracting with each of these companies is that you will have experienced and knowledgeable specialists doing the inspections and repairs.
Benefits of Using a Property Manager
As you can see, preparing your rental property for the winter requires several laborious, time-consuming tasks. For this reason, many owners hire a property management company to tackle all of their home’s maintenance responsibilities. Not only do they handle all the physical tasks in and around the rental property, but they will enforce your lease agreement, collect the rent, and respond to the tenant’s emergency calls 24/7.
Property management companies also have their own team of workers on standby to handle damage caused by snow and ice. They will also handle snow and ice removal from the property’s sidewalks and driveway if your home is vacant.
If you are planning on renting out your Colorado Springs home this winter, give us a call at 719-471- RENT (7368) for a free rental property management assessment and a free Rental Analysis.